2012 Christmas Gift/Giving Guide

I’ve already heard quite a few people say  they’re already finished their shopping for Christmas.  I admire and envy their dedication.  If you’re not one of those fortunate few, or even if you are but need one last thing to round out your shopping, or if you want to consider giving to those in need, you’re in luck.  Whether you’re looking for a gift to hold in your hand or your heart, I’ve put together a few suggestions you might find useful.  If you can think of something else to add, please let us know in the comments.

1.  Blood: Water Mission – Blood: Water Mission was founded by Jars of Clay in response to the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa. It has evolved into something much more.  Your donation helps provide resources and training to bring clean water, sanitation, and health care into impoverished communities.  Their latest project, Deck the Stalls, aims to provide latrines for 2,600 people in Northern Rwanda.  $50 is enough to provide sanitation and dignity to one person in their community.  This is a great way to give people something we often take for granted.  As they say on the website, make #2 your #1 this Christmas.

2.  Worldvision Catalog – Have you ever wanted to give to charities but you are concerned because you have no idea where your money is spent?  With Worldvision you can choose exactly where your money goes and for what purpose.  Your gift can purchase livestock, clean water, education, and safety for needy people throughout the world.  Simply put, your willingness to give can save lives.  If you want to be even more personal, consider sponsoring a child.   Hundreds of needy children are waiting for you to help.

3.  Trappist Fruitcake  – Yes, I’m serious.  I actually like fruitcake, despite its poor reputation for being a dried out block of leftover construction material.  But the Trappist monks at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia, do it right.  They top off these awesome, hand-made fruitcakes with peach brandy and sherry, giving them a uniquely southern flavor.  You’re probably asking yourself, “Why am I suddenly salivating for fruitcake?”  Order one and find out!

4.  Red Rambler Coffees of Wauseon, Ohio – Some people are fortunate enough to do what they love, and the owners of Red Rambler Coffees have done just that.  Transforming their love of coffee into a lifetime pursuit for the perfect roasted bean, they offer a variety of taste experiences from four coffee growing regions: Africa, Asia, and Central and South Americas.  Their coffee is roasted in small batches and is the perfect unique alternative to Folgers or Starbucks.

5. The Double Downbeats – Would you like to listen to a Christmas album that won’t give you sugar shock?  If so, then the husband and wife duo of Lloyd and Summar Evans have arranged In the Bleak Midwinter just for you.  Lloyd, who says “I always felt that there should be more Christmas records that aren’t cheesy or commercial. Instead, I wanted to hear more Christmas music that embodied the mysterious and solemn side of the holiday,” is offering this album in a variety of formats for whatever price you are willing to pay. Treat yourself and everyone within earshot, and support independent musicians at the same time.

You can also find Lloyd’s blog, Uncommonly Uncool, linked on the sidebar, where you can read his thoughts on God, music, and other important topics.

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